ECN e.V.

Network for Organic Resources and Biological Treatment
ECN E-BULLETIN No. 14_2021
17 DEcemBer 2021
Digetal season'sgreetings 2021
World Soil Day: 6th December 2021

Presentations of the ECN webinar ‘Save Organics in Soil’ available

The European Compost Network celebrates the World Soil Day with a presentation on the EU Strategy on Soil, a short lecture on the benefits of compost application over long time and with a relevant panel debate on the way forward to save organics in soil.
WSD ECN long term effects
The European Compost Network thanks the panelists and speakers who accepted our invitation, namely Alberto Confalonieri (CIC Italy), Annabelle Williams (Rise Foundation), Annemie Elsen (BDB), Célia Neyssens (EEB), Mirco Barbero (European Commission) and Stijn Martens (DBD).
The power point presentation on the soil strategy is available at this link.
The power point presentation on the long field compost trial can be accessed here,
The recording of Ms Elsen’s lecture can be watched here.
The European Commission will prepare an impact assessment next year to support a legislative proposal on soil health to be presented in 2023. The Soil Health Law will likely set a binding target to reduce leakage of nutrients from soil of 50% by 2030 and put forward quantitative goals to achieve by 2050.

ECN Guidance on Seperate Collection ois published

In 2024, EU member states are obliged by the European Directive (WFD) to introduce separate collection for bio-waste which is a challenge and an opportunity to produce high quality compost and digestate to save organics in soil. The Task Group of the European Compost Network gathering experts of separate collection from different countries drafted this handy guidance to showcase best practices, including incentive schemes and awareness raising campaigns.
Food waste and garden waste are the main fractions of the bio-waste category. Garden waste collection is often implemented in many countries through door to door schemes or through citizens that bring cuttings and pruning from their gardens to the local collection centres. However, implementing a high-quality collection of food waste is more difficult for public authorities. It raises problem of impurities and contamination with other materials that are difficult to remove during the recycling process – e.g. glass, metal and plastic; it requires cooperation and participation and they must have a good monitoring system in place.
By identifying the most common issues in separate collection of food waste, this guidance provides viable solutions for the high quality recycling of food waste into compost and digestate.

For supporting the implementation of the seperate collection of bio-waste ECN has published this guidance. It is a useful document for policy makers, public authorities, waste operators and researchers.The guidance on seperate collection of bio-waste can be downloaded here.
FAO/UN new report

Agricultural plastics and their sustainability

Global efforts to monitor agricultural plastics and tackle pollution are urgently needed to make agri-food systems safer and healthier. While most scientific research on plastics pollution has been directed at aquatic ecosystems, especially oceans, agricultural soils are thought to receive far greater quantities of microplastics. Since 93 percent of global agricultural activities take place on land, there is an obvious need for further investigation in this area.
The report – “Assessment of agricultural plastics and their sustainability: A call for action” – is the first global report of its kind by FAO and raises the alarm.
Plastics have become ubiquitous in agriculture in the last 70 years. They are adaptable, resistant, and provide productivity gains while reducing food losses. However, most plastic products used in agriculture become redundant within a year, so their end-of-life management needs to be considered carefully. Most plastics are single‑use and can persist in the environment long after they have reached the end of their useful lives. They degrade into microplastics which pose an increasing concern for food security, food safety and potentially human health as they can transfer and accumulate in food chains.
According to data from the report, agricultural value chains each year use 12.5 million tonnes of plastic products. A further 37.3 million tonnes are used in food packaging. The crop production and livestock sectors were found to be the largest users, accounting for 10.2 million tonnes per year collectively, followed by fisheries and aquaculture with 2.1 million tonnes, and forestry with 0.2 million tonnes. Asia was estimated to be the largest user of plastics in agricultural production, accounting for almost half of global usage.
In the absence of viable alternatives, demand for plastic in agriculture is only set to increase. According to industry experts, for instance, global demand for greenhouse, mulching and silage films will increase by 50 percent, from 6.1 million tonnes in 2018 to 9.5 million tonnes, in 2030. Such trends make it essential to balance the costs and benefits of plastic. Of increasing concern is microplastics, which may have the potential of adversely affecting human health. While there are gaps in the data, they shouldn’t be used as an excuse not to act.
Click here to read the report.
EU Fertilising Products Regulation

Draft delegated acts on by-products and high purity materials published

This initiative sets agronomic efficiency and safety criteria for the use of by-products (CMC 11) in EU fertilising products. Manufacturers will be allowed to use certain by-products that are listed exhaustively. They will also be allowed to use other by-products as technical additives up to 5%. In both cases, strict limits for heavy metals and other substances of concern apply, in addition to the safety criteria already laid down for all EU fertilising products.
The public consultation is open until 14 January 2022 here.
High purity materials, such as elemental Sulphur, with a clear agronomic efficiency, should be eligible for use as component materials in EU fertilising products (CMC 15). This initiative sets out the criteria to ensure that these materials are safe for use in EU fertilising products.
The European Commission understands that high purity materials are recovered from waste through two processes: the ones that isolate salts through (a combination of) advanced purification methods, such as crystallisation, centrifugation or liquid-liquid extraction, often applied in (petro-)chemical industries; and the ones where gas purification or emission control processes remove nutrients from off-gases. The high purity materials identified by the JRC are ammonium salts, sulphate salts, phosphate salts, elemental sulphur, calcium carbonate and calcium oxide.
The public consultation is open until 14 January 2022 here.
EU Council

CAP Strategic Plans Regulation (2021-2027) - Council Adopts Regulation

The Council has adopted the CAP Strategic Plans Regulation and issued a press release on 2nd December 2021. The new CAP will start in 2023 once the European Commission approves the National Strategic Plans of the EU Member States and will apply until 2027. Member States have to submit the draft of their CAP strategic plans by January 2022.
The Commission will have 6 months to approve the national plans. Janus Wojciechowski Commissioner for Agriculture issued a statement to welcome the adoption of the Regulation by the Council. The press release of the Council is available on the website.
The CAP Strategic Plans Regulation was published in the EU Official Journal on 6 December 2021.


18th January - 2pm CET
Diverting biowaste from disposal and turning it into fertility

On Zero Waste Europe's next webinar, the Mission Zero Academy (MiZA) will sit down with Enzo Favoino, Chair of the Zero Waste Europe Scientific Committee.
Click here to register and for more information.

S.O.S Save Organics in Soil

This international initiative S.O.S. SOIL – Save Organics in Soil, led by the European Compost Network (ECN) and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC), aims to highlight the importance of soil organic matter to encourage policy makers to develop instruments to move Europe towards implementing sustainable, climate proof soil management practices.
Sign the manifesto 'Save Organigs in Soil' here.

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Trade mark for certified quality assurance
organisations, compost and digestate products

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